Barrel aged Americanized Oud Bruin Batch 7 Recipe & Brewday - Brain Sparging on Brewing


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December 20, 2021

Barrel aged Americanized Oud Bruin Batch 7 Recipe & Brewday

It's well past time for another rebrew of this Americanized oud bruin that I have been barreling in my tiny two gallon barrel. I'm trying to find the goldilocks time and process so this sour beer can gain positive aging in the barrel but not pick up an acetic edge. I'm not quite there yet. My past experiences with this beer (add links to prior batches) suggest this barrel has no problem overoaking but does have problems with these thin staves and losing beer to angel's share. Waxing the barrel seemed to do little or had a positive effect but the evaporation rate on this small whisky barrel would be a nightmare had I not. Hard to say, really. Well let's talk about what happened with the prior batch, what I intend to do with batch seven of this oud bruin and then get into brewing it. 

Americanized oud bruin batch six

Although I distinctly recall writing a post for the sixth batch of this beer I cannot find the post and it seems lost to the ages. Unfortunately I don't have great notes on this one. Batch six followed the same recipe as the prior batches. Like batch five it went into the barrel for primary, then topped off with wort to make up for blow off. I recall I brewed it around August 2020 and primaried it right in the barrel and topped up the barrel after primary fermentation around Thanksgiving 2020. I didn't intend to leave that batch in the barrel for quite as long but it has been a weird two years and what can you do. I should have brewed the batch seven refill around August so I could see what happened after a year. Batch five sat in the barrel without top up for closer to eighteen months which was too long. The barrel lost about a third of the volume and came out with some acetic notes. 

When I cracked open the bung (which hasn't been opened since topping up the barrel) I wasn't terribly surprised to find the barrel was about half empty. I was concerned that the fifty percent headspace and length of time in the barrel would be violently acetic but that turned out not to be true at all. Sure the beer is acidic and even a touch acetic but not offensive. I wonder with the primary fermentation if the upper interior of the barrel is developing a layer of dried krausen helping to keep out some oxygen. Not really sure whether it is a fluke batch or the process is sorting itself out for the better.

Planning batch seven of this oud bruin recipe

Generally I intend for this batch to replicate the testing parameters of batch six. The same oud bruin recipe will continue as it has every past iteration of this little project. I'll put wort directly into the barrel and freeze a portion of the excess wort for topping up once primary dies down. I'll let the beer sit for one year and then see how the beer fares. Then I can compare batches six and seven against each other and see if less time in the barrel had a positive effect on flavor and acidity. 

If you're a new ready to this particular project, the recipe below is based fairly closely to Rare Barrel's sour brown ale recipe. Their recipe is reasonably similar to most of the American oud bruin beers like Funkwerks's Oud Bruin or New Belgium's La Folie which contain more specialty malts and a deeper flavor than many of their Belgian counterparts. The IBUs fall higher than most Belgian oud bruins which helps moderate acidity which I like. This beer is going in a tiny two gallon wheat whisky barrel I picked up a few years ago. This will be the ninth beer to descend its tiny bunghole.

Americanized oud bruin batch seven recipe

Batch Size: 2.25 gallon
Est. ABV: 7.3%
Est. IBU: 24
Est. OG: 1.071
Est. FG: 1.015
Est. SRM: 25
Expected Efficiency: 72%

Grain BillPoundsOuncesSRMPct. Grist
Pilsner malt40266.80%
White wheat malt10216.70%
Vienna malt63.56.00%
Crystal 804804.20%
Chocolate malt2.63502.70%
Aromatic malt2262.20%
Black patent malt1.45001.50%

Water Profile
Bru'n Water Brown Malty Profile
PH: 5.5

Water AdditionsMashSparge
Epsom Salt0.4g00.3g
Canning Salt
Baking Soda0.4g
Calcium Chloride0.9g0.7g
Pickling Lime
Lactic Acid

Mash Schedule
Step Temp.Step Time
Single infusion mash
Mash volume: 7.8 qt
Sparge volume: 1.5 gal
Infuse 7.8 quarts at 167F150F75
Sparge 1.5 gal at 190F

Boil Schedule
60 minute boil
Cascade [5.5%]0.55oz6024

Fermentation Schedule
# DaysTemp.
Yeast: WY3728
Pitch What's in the barrel
Pitch at 70F?Ambient
Bottle to 4 vol CO2 with 2 oz table sugar

Barrel aged American oud bruin brewday

Brewed 12.11.21.

Preboil gravity: 1.061
Preboil volume: 2.75 gal
Mash efficiency: 76%

Postboil gravity: 1.070
Postboil volume: 2.25 gal
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%

This was a nice brewday where everything went right without any hiccups. Hit all the numbers dead on for this homebrew batch and made quick work of turning around brewing and bottling. First, some eye candy.

Having brewed this exact beer recipe seven times I know what it should look like through the process and what I can expect going into the barrel. I've made my peace with the fact that this barrel loses about half its volume to angel's share and the beer is a little more acidic than I would hope but there doesn't seem to be a superior option. Batch six has been the batch I've been most happy with so far going into the bottle. Several of the pre-steaming batches turned aggressively acetic and helped clean my kitchen sink drainpipe but the post-steaming, primary-fermented-in-the-barrel batches have held up better--at least so far. For now, I'll keep this process moving forward and enjoy the one gallon or so of sour beer I get out of this tiny barrel. 

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